Seattle City Council approves minimum wage for Liefergig workers

Seattle on Tuesday passed a unique worker-backed minimum wage regulation for many of its 40,000 gig workers.

The nine-member city council voted unanimously to approve the so-called PayUp policy, which will affect companies that offer on-demand delivery, such as DoorDash Inc. DASH,
Instacart, Inc. AMZN,
(Amazon Flex), Uber Technologies Inc. UBER,
(Uber Eats) and others. The measure now goes to Mayor Bruce Harrell, who wants to sign it.

“Gig workers deserve a fair shake and a fair wage,” the mayor said in an emailed statement. “We are committed to making Seattle an affordable city where workers can thrive.”

Seattle City Council member Andrew Lewis, who sponsored the ordinance along with council member Lisa Herbold, said during the council discussion before the vote that “this is the first action to properly size the economy” due to the impact of gig work in the past decade.

In addition to establishing a formula that would give gig workers the equivalent of the Seattle minimum wage of $17.27 an hour, the PayUp policy requires that workers have the ability to decline offers without penalty and that companies on App -based platforms provide detailed breakdowns of workers’ wages.

Working Washington, which pushed for the ordinance and whose victories have included helping secure a minimum wage for Seattle’s fast-food workers, celebrated another victory on Tuesday.

“Minimum wages are history!” the group tweeted.

A DoorDash spokeswoman on Tuesday called the just-enacted directive “extreme” and said it would increase costs for consumers and result in less work for deliverers. “The city council also refused to investigate the implications of this proposal, despite widespread concerns from voters,” she said.

But Working Washington spokeswoman Sage Wilson said: “Raising wages for the lowest-paid workers is good for the economy. When more people have more money, that means more customers for more businesses.”

Instacart, Amazon, and Uber have not responded to requests for comment.

The Seattle measure, which will go into effect in 18 months, does not include rideshare drivers. In April, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation giving Uber and Lyft drivers some new benefits but not classifying them as employees. This nationwide law was backed by Uber and Lyft Inc. LYFT,
However, this city ordinance is opposed by gig companies.

The Seattle City Council also voted to develop policies by next summer to cover non-delivery gig workers, like those who work for TaskRabbit and Rover, who were originally intended to fall under this regulation. Seattle City Council approves minimum wage for Liefergig workers

Brian Lowry

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